Lorenzo Quinn

Contemporary Italian artist Lorenzo Quinn is a leading figurative sculptor whose work is inspired by such masters as Michelangelo, Bernini and Rodin. Exhibited internationally, his monumental public art and smaller, more intimate pieces transmit his passion for eternal values and authentic emotions. He is best known for expressive recreations of human hands.

Born on 7 May 1966 in Rome to the Mexican-American actor Anthony Quinn and his second wife, costume designer Iolanda Addolori, Lorenzo Quinn had a childhood split between Italy and the United States of America. His father had a profound influence on him, both in terms of living in the limelight of the film world and with respect to Anthony’s early work in painting and architecture.

Lorenzo Quinn studied at the American Academy of Fine Arts in New York, planning to be a Surrealist painter. However, at 21 he decided that his future lay in sculpture, which could better accommodate his energy and originality. He vividly recalls the moment in 1989 when he felt that he had created his first genuine work of art: ‘I had made a torso from Michelangelo’s drawing of Adam … an artisan’s job…. I had an idea and began chiselling away, and Eve came out of Adam’s body…. It had started as a purely academic exercise, yet it had become an artwork.’

Quinn’s creative ideas spark quickly into life: ‘The inspiration comes within a millisecond’, he says, as he is driven to sculpt by observing life’s everyday energy. Yet a finished project takes months to realise, and it has to carry clear meaning. Quinn usually conceives each work in writing, and the poetic text is ultimately displayed with the sculpture, as an integral part of the piece, not merely explanation.

Art historian and curator Consuelo Císcar Casabán describes Quinn’s work as ‘profound, spiritual and existential because it deals with the passions we experience as humans and the questions we pose in the silence about ultimate truth…. these are sculptures based on great myths, referring to the broad themes that recur in our civilisation and cut across distinctions of culture and time.’

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